Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saul Bellow on how the political has encroached on the personal

Who would have guessed that Saul Bellow anticipated a feminist theme? Admittedly, he does put a different spin on the idea.

"The personal is political." -- Carol Hanisch (1969)

“Public life drives out private life. The more political our society becomes (in the broadest sense of ‘political’ — the obsessions, the compulsions of collectivity) the more individuality seems lost. … [N]ational purpose is now involved with the manufacture of commodities in no way essential to human life, but vital to the political survival of the country. … The whole matter … has to do with invasion of the private sphere (including the sexual) by techniques of exploitation and domination.” — Saul Bellow, Herzog, p. 178 (1964)

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